One of the scenes that I used to make fun of in “Sid & Nancy” was the young lovers phoning up Nancy’s mother with the good news that they had just gotten married. I thought it was a deficiency in the film that this scene always made me laugh my head off. There’s nothing worse than filming a really serious movie and laughing at it. What I never really realized was that “Sid & Nancy” is about the least serious movie ever made. So now I can just enjoy the sheer comedy of Nancy telling her mother that they don’t have much need for sheets as a wedding gift and that instead, could she please go to the American Express office, like right this second, and send them some money or else they are going to fucking die. Treat “Sid & Nancy” like Spinal Tap and you realize that they’re pretty close to sequels of each other. If anything, Johnny Rotten’s lyrics are even funnier then Christopher Guest’s. Sure Johnny wasn’t kidding, but at least he had the decency to keep the wit in his declarations of “Go fuck off” to the world.
So next time you watch the movie, don’t dwell on Nancy’s heroin tracks and the fact that she tells her mom quite accurately that she is about to die. This time, enjoy a couple about half as intelligent as Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in “Dumb and Dumber” and see what happens when you really are that dumb.
Nancy: She said we’d probably just use the money to buy drugs. ^ Sid: Well, we probably would.
Enjoy all the old men in bondage uniforms hanging by chains from the ceiling. Enjoy Johnny telling everyone he sees how much he despises them whether they be exercising rock stars or morons pitching him awful songs on the tour bus. Hey, how about that great dinner scene with Nancy’s Grandparents?
My favorite line of the movie is somebody informing Sid that the reason Johnny is all bandaged up is
because, “Johnny got beat up by fascists.” Sure he really did get beat up by fascists, but maybe that just makes it that much funnier. Then, some of the bored punks start discussing the pros and cons of becoming a fascist. The odd thing is that the more absurd the punks are, the more they succeed in making all the offended straight people look that much more ridiculous in comparison. These people were so offended by the group that when one of their songs went to number one they left the spot blank instead of acknowledging it. It’s not really that different over here and if you think about it “Cop Killer” and “Fuck the Police” are pretty damn similar to “God Save the Queen.” Should we have Chris Tucker star in a new movie on NWA?
Sure the final scenes of the heroin fallout are sort of gruesome, but I chalk that up to New York being much more of a drag than swinging London. Heroin didn’t do half the damage to Sid Vicious as Alex Cox does to the real menace of the English Punk movement.
When Johnny Rotten describes Sid Vicious in the Filth and the Fury, he cries about the fact that he couldn’t do anything to save his dim friend, which makes me understand why Johnny Rotten doesn’t particularly like the movie “Sid & Nancy” much. Alex Cox takes all the danger of the times and plays it as high comedy. The beginning of “Holidays in the Sun,” the first track on The Sex Pistols’ only album is the closest I’ve ever heard to the sheer fury and evil of Nazi Storm Troopers. Alex Cox successfully turned the whole thing into “The Producers.” So next time you’re at a party and you want to laugh at the sound of Chloe Webb screeching, “Siiiiiiiiiiiddddd, what about the farewell drugs?” Laugh all you want because it’s all pretty damn funny stuff. Just don’t let someone who is 19 see you do it or they may just slit your throat.
Posted on September 18, 2002 in Features by Brad Laidman
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